Friday, March 9, 2007

What I'm Watching -- Las Vegas Season Finale

Now that's how you write a season finale that really puts pressure on the bosses at NBC to give you a fifth season to tie up some loose ends. This post contains discussions of tonight's season finale of Las Vegas, and also discusses news regarding the cast of Season Five, so if you haven't seen the finale yet, or don't want to know who may not be returning to show next year, let me refer you to my Detroit Tigers Blog which contains no discussion of Las Vegas or television (cheap plug -- I know).

Now, as for that season finale, I'm not sure you could have fit more loose ends in one hour of television, and leave more threads dangling for next season. Mary's abusive stepfather shot dead without it being clear who (Ed, Mary, or Danny) pulled the trigger. Sam being kidnapped and Mike being unable to find her in time before she was flown out Vegas (next time try a phone call to the airport or FAA, that may work). Delinda being pregnant and then possibly injured in an explosion inside the hotel. Ed potentially buying the hotel or retiring and leaving the casino world behind. And the Montecito Hotel being robbed. I think that covers everything. Oh, and Danny may be headed back to Iraq, forgot about that one for a minute.

I'm a big fan of Las Vegas, and not just because it stars Nikki Cox, Molly Sims, and Vanessa Marcil. It's a fun show (immature at times, sure, but mostly in a harmless way) and is usually pretty entertaining. It has that right mix of humor and action/adventure, and while it isn't a procedural show like Law & Order, it isn't nearly as involving as shows like Lost or 24 or Prison Break. I watch enough of those shows, so it's nice to have one I can just sit back and watch mindlessly for an hour. And the acting and storylines are usually pretty good.

How the writers are going to get themselves out of the mess they find themselves in after tonight's season finale is going to be interesting. Especially with news coming out last week that both James Caan and Nikki Cox won't be returning for Season Five. According to the reports, Caan chose to leave to peruse feature film roles, which is where he became famous. And while I can't blame Caan for choosing to leave, I don't think the show will be the same, or as successful without him. A lot of shows have an older, mentor-type character for a group of more immature 20 or 30-somethings, but Caan was more than that on Las Vegas. He was in many ways the heart and soul of the show, and grounded it in a lot of ways. And he played the character so well. You could completely buy him as this old-school, no-nonsense casino manger. I would imagine the show would focus much more on Josh Duhamel's Danny, without Ed there to guide him, I don't know how well that would work. And if they try to bring a replacement in, to fill Ed's shoes and at the same time cause tension with Danny, that likely didn't work. That was a similar role Lara Flynn Boyle tried last season, and it was a dramatic failure.

As for losing Nikki Cox, it comes at an odd time because her character was just starting to get really interesting. After playing this sweet, down-to-earth, girl-next-door who just happens to look like, well, Nikki Cox, for three seasons, Nikki's character really grew this year. She became more assertive, got a bit of an edge to her, and the storyline with her testifying against her stepfather, and the resulting aftermath, showed some dramatic range which was impressive. There was also a certain balance between the Cox, Sims, and Marcil characters which will be missing now.

I don't know if Las Vegas will be the same next season. Las Vegas without Ed Deline is just going to be strange. And without Nikki Cox's Mary, the show may be imbalanced. Or, maybe, like a lot of shows which lose central characters (like ER) it will bounce back without much of a hit. Either way, the exciting and cliffhanging season finale ensured it will be a long spring and summer as we await to find out the fate of all our favorite Las Vegas characters, and learn how the Las Vegas writers work themselves out of the corner they wrote themselves into. And that's all one can ask for from a great season finale.

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Sonia said...

Las Vegas Season Finale is an better part of the show. I saw it 2-3 times online. Its really good to watch. If you wanna watch this then go ahead and get it now. Las Vegas Download with all episodes for free...

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